Last night, I cheered on Inter Milan as the Italian club eliminated my club Barcelona from the UEFA Champions League tournament on an aggregate score of 3-2. Inter will now face Bayern Munich in the Cup final in Madrid. There comes a time when scores have to be settled and last night was Barca’s turn to taste defeat. See, last year Barcelona sold the Senegalese striker Samual Eto’o to Inter Milan in exchange for buying Zlatan Ibrahimović. It was a transfer deal; Eto’o goes to Inter and Ibrahimovic ends up at Barcelona. I hated this deal. I felt Eto’o had done really well at Barcelona and had played a key role in Barca’s dominance in the Spanish football league (La Liga) and should continue to play with the club. Also, it seemed that the deal, in terms of monies involved, valued Ibrahimović more than Eto’o. Now these footballers earn more money that I will ever see in my lifetime and we could argue whether they deserve all that. But that’s another post. In the world of football and most other sports, the money is a clear indication of your worth. I, of course, felt that Eto’o should have gotten more, that it seemed that he was just being kicked out by Barca. In short, my club had just pissed me of royally.
In the English Premier League, I support Manchester United. So I watched with much anxiety when Chelsea hired José Mourinho as the club’s manager in 2003. I watched as Mourinho and his boys excelled and challenged Man U for dominance in the Premiership. But as I watched, I also began to admire Mourinho’s passion and skill for the game. In 2007, he left Chelsea. His position at the club had become untenable due to the friction between him and the owner, Roman Abramovich. Why do some owners meddle in all the affairs of their clubs, even in areas they know nothing about? Anyway, Mourinho found another position, this time at Inter Milan.
So back to last night: Inter Milan, coach Mourinho, player Eto’o versus Barcelona. A victory by Inter settled the score. Oh, Inter eliminated Chelsea in the earlier round of the UEFA competition. Another score settled. Sweet. So this is how I hope it all plays out as we near the end of the European football season:
- Inter Milan defeats Bayern Munich to win the 2010 UEFA Champions League
- Barcelona finishes atop La Liga; I’m still a fan after all 😉
- Manchester United takes the title in the English Premier League, Chelsea places second (oh the heartache ;))
Then all will be right in my world of European soccer and I can then turn to the World Cup where my country, Ghana, will not only survive the group stages but go on to win the first World Cup on African soil. Hey this is football, anything is possible and all dreams are welcome!